USS Cushing (DD-376)

USS Cushing (DD-376) was a Mahan class destroyer that served on escort duties during the first half of 1942 then took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal, where she was sunk by Japanese destroyers during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942.

USS Cushing (DD-376) at Mare Island, 1942 USS Cushing (DD-376) at Mare Island, 1942

The Cushing was named after William Barker Cushing, who served in the US Navy during the Civil War, and was most famous for the destruction of the ironclad CSS Albemarle in 1864.

The Cushing was launched at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 31 December 1935 when she was sponsored by Commander Cushing’s daughter Miss K. A. Cushing, and commissioned on 28 August 1936.

The Cushing joined the Pacific Fleet, and was based at San Diego.

From 34-30 July 1937 she took part in the search for Amelia Earhart. She spent most of her time operating along the US west coast, as well as taking part in fleet problems in the Caribbean and around Hawaii.

The Cushing was at the Mare Island Navy Yard undergoing an overhaul when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She was quickly put back into service, and departed from San Francisco to begin a period of convoy escort duty between the West Coast and Hawaii that lasted until 13 January 1942.


USS Cushing (DD-376) at San Diego, 1938 USS Cushing (DD-376) at San Diego, 1938

On 10 January 1942 the Cushing and Mahan left Pearl Harbor to escort the oiler Sabine (AO-25) and seaplane tander Curtiss (AV-4).

From 18 January-2 February the Cushing carried out an anti-submarine patrol around Midway.

She then returned to San Francisco, arriving on 19 February. She then formed part of the screen for Task Force 1 as it trained off the California coast.

On 1 August the Cushing left San Francisco heading for Pearl Harbor. After training around Pearl Harbor she departed for Guadalcanal, escorting supply convoys.

She fought in the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (26 October 1942).

On 12 November she safely escorted transports to Guadalcanal. Later on the same day the Cushing and Buchanan fired on Japanese shore emplacements to the west of the landing area.

On the night of 13 November she was one of the leading ships in the US force that attempted to intercept a Japanese force (naval battle of Guadalcanal), even though her fire control radar wasn’t working. She soon began involved in a gun battle with three Japanese destroyers, starting at a range of 3,000 yards. She was hit amidships, and slowly lost power. Even so she was able to fire her torpedoes towards the Japanese battleship Hiei (although without success). By 0230 she was on fire, most of her guns were out of commission, and ammo was beginning to explode, and the order was given to abandon ship. About 70 men were lost with the Cushing. She actually remained afloat but on fire until about 1700 when she was seen to sink near Savo Island.

USS Cushing (DD-376) from above USS Cushing (DD-376) from above

Cushing received three battle stars for World War II service, for Guadalcanal, the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Displacement (standard)

1,487.9 standard

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

37.8kts at 44,477shp at 1,749t on trials (Mahan)


2-shaft General Electric tubines
4 boilers
46,000shp design


6,500nm at 12kts design
7,300nm at 12kts on trials (Mahan)
6,940nm at 12kts at 2,200t wartime
4,360nm at 20kts at 2,200t wartime


341ft 3in


35ft 6.5in


Five 5in/38 DP guns
Twelve 21in torpedoes in three quad mounts
Four 0.50in AA guns
Two depth charge tracks

Crew complement


Laid down



31 December 1935


28 August 1936

Sunk in battle

13 November 1942

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 February 2022), USS Cushing (DD-376) ,

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